Last year, my eight year-old son went to summer camp. It was the first time he had been away from home for more than a night. An hour after I dropped him off, I missed him. By the time I went to bed, I found myself wandering into his bedroom, just to feel close to him.
As the days passed, I wrote to him daily. Each hour dragged as I’d wait for the mailman, hoping for just one letter from him. By that point I missed him so much, I began to imagine what he might write.
I fantasized I would receive a letter something like this:
Thank you so much for letting me go to camp. I have learned so many cool things, like how to take a fish off the hook, tie sailing knots, and how to groom a horse. Thanks for packing sun screen. I’ve been out on the lake a lot, so it’s really come in handy. You think of everything! I’ve been drinking tons of water since it’s so hot. See? I do listen to all your good advice.
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The other boys in my cabin are really smart and nice. I’m making lifelong friends I will cherish forever. We’ve had fun learning camp songs, playing cards, and catching frogs in our free time. During quiet time, I read the book you sent along. What a great selection!
Like you suggested, I’m trying a lot of new foods. You were right, the oatmeal at breakfast isn’t bad if I add raisins. And don’t worry, Mom, I’m using all the manners you’ve taught me over the years.
We’re camping under the stars tonight. I hope to see fireflies.
I love you,
P.S. Tell my brothers I miss them!
The next day I received an actual letter from him. It was just slightly different from what I imagined:
This year I’m sending a whole book of stamps to camp with him.
Can’t wait to see what he writes!
Liesl, publisher of the website Hairpin Turns Ahead, uses humor and humility to write about navigating life’s twists, turns, and inevitable changes. A divorced mom of three, she has come to accept that even though her white-picket-fence dream life blew up in her face, it was probably the best thing to have happened. Follow Liesl on Facebook, Pinterest,and Twitter.